Okay, so you have to like a band like DEATH ANGEL. Cousins, from a foreign country, trying to make it as kids in the US and starting out with an album as “The Ultra-Violence”. You may be a bit hesitant of the band’s quality if you want to, but there really is no room for not liking the guys as they struggle along, making some noice on their way.
I’ve talked to and interviewed the bands guitarrist Rob Cavestany, and ever since their “commercial break-through” “Act III” I’ve been a more or less devoted fan of the band (yes, since then I’ve also discorevered and fallen in love with the older records), and I’ve always claimed that DEATH ANGEL is one of the bands with the most interesting stories to be told. I am finally being answered through the combined documetary/live-album “A Thrashumentary/The Bay Calls For Blood Live”, giving both a documetary DVD of the band’s history as well as a CD with a live concert.
The DVD is more or less the two major players in the band talking of everything from the start until present time (that would be Rob Cavestany – guitarrs – and Mark Osegueda – song), mixed with some live clips as well as other speakers, inlcuding Chuck Billy of TESTAMENT, Björn “Speed” Stridh of SOILWORK as well as (of course) other and present members of the band. It is, however, not as in-depth as I would have liked it. Sure, we get to know how it started, and sure, we get to know how everything started again after the long shut-down, but when it comes to the accident that effectively stopped DEATH ANGEL when they where about to break through.. we get small words.
It’s telling that neith Mark nor Rob can look into the camera as they tell their story of what happend, and I am definately not looking for some scandalous stories, but I would really like to hear more of the controverse that is only briefly discussed: how the record label and the management put preassure on the band to get up quick, to continue beyond their sorrow and despite their loss – and the band refusing to do so. That is interesting, and I would like to know more…
However, the band struggles on – as do the documentary.
And it is nice. It covers more or less everything, and as we move in to more modern times, the live clips and the general material gets updated, but present all the time is the bands joy and sheer gratitude to be back. For a fan like me – that have followed and listened to all of the albums as they came out – the cronological order of the story is very appealing, as well as easy to folow. Perhaps not so if you are not a DEATH ANGEL-fan, but then again… which non-DEATH ANGEL-fan in their right mind buys a product like this, right?
All in all – the “A Thrashumentary” is a nice product, and a nice watch. Once. I will probably not watch it again though, something that cannot be said on the live material that most definately WILL be watched and listened to again. After all: DEATH ANGEL is a band best enjoyed live!
The live material well represents the band, and if anything – I would personally have liked a double album with perhaps more material from the 2004 return “The Art Of Dying” (a favourite of mine…), but that is more wishful thinking than a demand. All in all it is very good presented with a nice mixing, and as it is live the band really kicks ass, “The Bay Calls For Blood” may be the real gem in this Thrashumentary.
In the end, it’s a question if you like DEATH ANGEL or not. If you do, this thing will sctract your back in a good way. If you don’t, it just won’t change your mind. Luckily, I like DEATH ANGEL – and why not show it with some great pics from their last visit to Stockholm?